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Color Wheel: What is it and its importance in fashion

A color wheel is essential for developing fashion collections. Discover what a color wheel is and its primary role in collection development.


Colors play a pivotal role in the fashion market as they affect how we perceive things. Each color holds its own significance and subconsciously conveys a message, directly affecting our psychological and cognitive capacities.

According to Coloro, a global authority in color forecasting, 80% of fashion customers’ purchase decisions are based on the product color. This makes the choice of colors and their combinations crucial when developing a fashion collection.

But how can you ensure that the shades harmonize with each other? And how can you create a combination that aligns with your brand identity? This is where the color wheel comes into play.

What is the color wheel and why is it important?

The color wheel is a tool that simplifies the visual representation of colors and aids in understanding possible combinations of different colors and their properties. In practice, it helps in developing a color palette for designs.

Selecting a color palette based solely on the designer’s preference can be detrimental to a collection. Hence, utilizing the color wheel is essential. Read on to learn how to use it.

How to use the color wheel?

The color wheel is a round chart divided into 12 equal sections, with each representing a color (with varying levels of saturation). There are three primary colors, three secondary colors and six tertiary colors.

First, create four types of color combinations:

  • Complementary colors – these colors are opposite each other on the wheel, such as green and red or blue and orange

  • Analogous colors – these colors are closely positioned to each other on the wheel. It comprises a primary color and two neighboring colors

  • Triadic colors – these are three colors equidistant on the wheel, forming an equilateral triangle with equal sides

  • Monochromatic colors – this forms the tone-on-tone aesthetic, which uses various shades of the same color on the wheel

A tip for combining colors is to use Adobe Color, a free tool provided by Adobe, to create color palettes on the website.

Colors at START by WGSN

Through specialized methodologies, START by WGSN highlights the main colors suggested for each season, along with other trend directions for various markets.


With over 10,000 brands served, START by WGSN helps fashion businesses like yours to develop and grow.

Get access to images about upcoming trends as well as essential tools that aid in the creation and optimization of your brand.

We offer a comprehensive collection of technical drawings, automatic financial calculators, a suppliers’ directory, image galleries and essential guides, all geared towards the success of your fashion business.


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